Lao Tzu 's Thoughts On Balance Essay

1388 Words Dec 10th, 2015 6 Pages
Throughout the course of Cultural Perspectives, many texts and authors who have contributed to the Great Conversation have been discussed. Ultimately, each author is attempting to find his or her summum bonum or “highest good.” Although each author has a different definition of summum bonum, the majority agrees on the method required to attain the highest good: balance. Whether that balance be implicitly or explicitly accredited for the summum bonum differs for each author. Lao Tzu’s thoughts on balance earn the Tao-te-Ching a significant spot in the Great Conversation. The Tao-te-Ching’s vast intertextuality is apparent and further contributes to the relevance of Lao Tzu’s work. While discussing balance, Lao Tzu focuses on the Taoist term yinyang. Yinyang is the black and white symbol commonly associated with Taoist culture. Yin, the dark half, represents more passive, yielding, and feminine attitudes and experiences. Her light counterpart, Yang, represents active, aggressive, and masculine attitudes and experiences (“Yin-Yang Balance & You”). Although these two entities seem to be complete opposites, one does not exist without the other. While examining the yinyang symbol, a person notices that while yin is mostly dark and yang is mostly light, both halves have a dot of the other. Lao Tzu discusses this topic explicitly when he states:
All things have their backs to the [yin] and stand facing the [yang]. When [yang] and [yin] combine, all things achieve harmony…

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